Ketoprofen for Dogs

by Elizabeth Muirhead
    Ketoprofen may be used to treat chronic pain in dogs.

    Ketoprofen may be used to treat chronic pain in dogs.

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    Ketoprofen is a drug used for the management of short- and long-term pain. Ketoprofen is classified as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory, or NSAID, and is in the same family of medication as carprofen and aspirin. Side effects can include gastric ulceration and liver damage.

    Multiple forms of ketoprofen exist. Ketofen is a veterinary product, while several products for human use also are on the market. All have similar methods of action. They reduce prostaglandins, inflammatory mediators in the body. Ketoprofen then can reduce inflammation, pain and fever in dogs.

    Many veterinary hospitals use ketoprofen after surgery to reduce pain and discomfort associated with the procedure. Long-term use for the management of musculoskeletal abnormalities, such as osteoarthritis, also occurs. Careful monitoring of your dog is necessary with long-term NSAID use, due to the potential side effects.

    Ketoprofen can lead to kidney or liver disease. More commonly, ketoprofen can lead to gastrointestinal ulceration or bleeding. Gastroprotectants, medications to help prevent ulceration, often are used with ketoprofen. An increased risk of side effects may be seen with dogs sensitive to ketoprofen or with overdoses. Ketoprofen is not recommended for use in breeding animals, because it can be found in dog’s milk, although it was found to be safe in pregnant laboratory animals.

    The side effects of ketoprofen may be worsened when used with other anti-inflammatory medication, such as carprofen, aspirin, or corticosteroids. Due to the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, the medication should not be given to pets on anti-coagulant medication.

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    About the Author

    Elizabeth Muirhead is a practicing veterinarian with an undergraduate degree in biological sciences. She has real-world experience with the husbandry, grooming, training and feeding a variety of household pets.

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